Elusive Exclusive: Superchin Rested & Ready!

You could be forgiven for thinking that Daryl Gurney had vanished into thin air over recent weeks. Unlike many darts stars, Superchin has been barely visible recently. After poor facilities meant he missed the Home Tour and has hardly appeared in the media. Darts World’s reader contributor Elias Wilhelm was keen to track down the elusive two-time major winner:

DARYL GURNEY was a whisker away from the final of the World Matchplay last year, but he lost out after an incredible chase by Rob Cross. It was one of his most painful defeats. He wants to do better this year.


In a short conversation Elias the World Grand Prix Champion admits that he enjoyed the time-out a lot. He was able to “spend more time with his son after the three and a half years of non-stop playing”.


The Northern Irishman added that he hadn’t had a dart in his hand for a long time. It is only very recently that he started his preparations for the continuation of the Pro Tour, which begins with the Summer Series on July 8.


“To be honest, I enjoyed the time not playing. […] I didn’t
touch a dart for 12 weeks. I’ve just started playing again.”


Daryl did not participate in the Home Tour due to his bad internet. In addition, his set-up has been temporarily hanging on his father’s bathroom door. Laughing, he said that there would be problems if someone needed the bathroom.


In addition to the Summer Series, the World Matchplay will also take place in mid July. Whether spectators are admitted will only be announced at short notice. In this respect, ‘Superchin’ agrees completely with the decisions taken by the PDC.

He has no doubt about what Barry Hearn and Matthew Porter determine:


“I think, Barry [Hearn] and Matthew [Porter] know what They are doing.

I trust them.”


Although it will be hard for the Players Championship winner to “get used to strict conditions”, he said that he has no other choice if he wants to play again.

Above all, Daryl is looking forward to the World Matchplay, which will start on July 18. Last he lost to Rob Cross in the semifinals despite an interim 7-leg lead. Now he is more hungry than ever for the Phil Taylor-Trophy.

“Yes, I’m very hungry. Especially after what happened last
year.”

Despite this, he yearns most for winning the World Championships. He never made it there further than the quarterfinals. He often lost in the first rounds of the tournament. He’d give anything to call himself a world champion:

“I would swap everything I’ve won to be called World Champion. I yearn for it more than any other title.”


Daryl will try to return to ‘fitness’ upcoming in the Summer Series. Afterward, it will be very exciting to see if the Winmau thrower can do better at the World Matchplay than last year if he can count himself among the glorious winners of the Phil Taylor Trophy.


Pix: Taylor Lanning.

Exclusive: Bunting Wants Double Celebration.

STEPHEN BUNTING is hoping for a double celebration of Liverpool winning the Premier League and then qualifying for the World Matchplay. The 2014 BDO World Champion admits he is buzzing that sport is back on the big stage with his beloved Reds on the verge of title success.

‘The Bullet’ will bid to grab his place in the Matchplay with five crucial Players Championships events in Milton Keynes from July 8. He said:

“I watched the football on Wednesday but it’s a bit weird without the fans and no atmosphere.

But obviously, when Liverpool are on I’ll be glued to the telly”.

“Watching the derby with Everton 7pm kick-off on Sunday is going to be strange in itself. I still think we’ll win the game then hopefully we can wrap up the title on Wednesday against Palace.

“Being at home has been so boring with no darts and also no football. It’s crazy. Me as a fan I look forward to games so much. You learn to appreciate sport so much.”

Bunting will need to hit the ground running for the Summer Series and reach the Matchplay on July 18.

The Bullet is currently World No.17 and will miss out on qualification unless he can outgun his nearest Order of Merit challengers in Milton Keynes. He also admits it will be a weird scenario at the Marshalls Arena, unlike any other ProTour event held before.

For diabetic players such as himself, Ian White, Andy Hamilton and Jamie Caven, the return to action poses extra problems.

He added: “The way it has worked out for me it makes it very difficult. Obviously I’ve just got to get to Milton Keynes and forget about everything and go and play.

“I’m 17 in the rankings. There’s also a possibility that not all the top 16 seeded players are going to come over for it, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I can never count my chickens.

“Obviously I’ll be trying my hardest in Milton Keynes to earn that spot. I think I’m about £3,000 behind on the ProTour Order of Merit.

“If I can have a good five days in Milton Keynes then I can make it to Blackpool in my own right.

“It’s going to be a weird situation as well. We don’t know what’s happening or what the new protocols are. 

“A big thing for me is travelling as well. Obviously I’ve got Type-2 diabetes so I’ve still got to be very careful. Getting to the venue is important and once you are there it’s OK.”

Bunting also reveals that he has made a huge decision to change his diet and lifestyle with so much information regarding Covid-19 affecting the vulnerable in society, which includes diabetes sufferers.

He added:

“My wife has bought me an exercise bike and I’ve been on that every day. I’ve changed my diet and I’m trying to do things away from the oche to make myself fitter”.

“A few family members have lost loads of weight in the past and are no longer diabetic so that’s something I can try and do. It’s going to benefit me in the long run with having more energy”.

“We’re on a healthy meal club and we get set 12 meals for a week sent to you. It’s perfect and I’m enjoying that and getting used to the exercise regime. 

“I’m taking it slowly, not trying to be Superman right away.

Just building up the amounts I do so I don’t burn myself out!

“I’ve also tried to change my lifestyle by not staying up so late at night on the PlayStation. I’m going to bed earlier and waking up fresher with more energy.”.


Pix: Taylor Lanning

Bunting’s Back! Bullet Gunning for Matchplay Spot!

The Bullet is currently World No.17 and will miss out on qualification unless he can outgun his nearest Order of Merit challengers in Milton Keynes. He also admits it will be a weird scenario at the Marshalls Arena, unlike any other ProTour event held before.

“I’m 17 in the rankings. There’s also a possibility that not all the top 16 seeded players are going to come over for it,

you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I can never count my chickens.

“Obviously I’ll be trying my hardest in Milton Keynes to earn that spot. I think I’m about £3,000 behind on the ProTour Order of Merit. “If I can have a good five days in Milton Keynes then I can make it to Blackpool in my own right”.

Dependant on the government statement, due at the start of July, there are multiple ways for the Liverpool ace to make it into the final thirty-two. Over the five day of the Summer Series he could play his way into an automatic place. Failing that other players may opt or be prevented from attending.

But BUnting is intent on overcoming the many challenges he faces in order to compete on the biggest stages once again.

He added:

“IF I CAN HAVE A GOOD FIVE DAYS IN MILTON KEYNES THEN I CAN MAKE IT TO BLACKPOOL IN MY OWN RIGHT.

Perhaps Stephen, a passionate LFC fan, will be inspired by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, who return to action on Sunday!


Read the full conversation later today on dartsworld.com

Aspinall To ‘Open’ Darts World’s ‘Player’s Lounge’. Live from 7.30pm Tonight.

Former UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall will be our first ‘Players Lounge’ guest, tonight at 7.30 pm. ‘The Asp’ with be chatting with Darts World’s Tom Beresford over on our facebook page. The popular Stockport player will be talking all things darts, and maybe having a bit of fun.

The Asp is a thoughtful, but fun, guy.

Fresh from his recent Home Tour success ‘The Asp’ is focused on the upcoming Betfred World Matchplay and hoping to climb the ranking over the next year or so. Nathan is a down to earth level headed guy, who not so long ago could barely afford a new dartboard.

It seems he has not forgotten his earlier tour struggles and he has spoken out about the difficulty facing those ranked outside the top sections of professional darts and the difficulties that lie ahead with regard to ranking tables and the restart of the PDC tours.

All-in-all, he is the ideal guest to open Darts Worlds new ‘Players Lounge’ and we hope you enjoy the first of many ‘Facebook Live’ events.


Pix: Taylor Lanning

Cross: It’s Head Down and Back To Work Time.

Defending Champion Rob Cross knows its time to get back to work if he is to retain his Betfred World Matchplay crown.

‘Back to work’ for reigning Champion Rob Cross.

‘Voltage’ said: It’s been a long time and at least now we’ve got something set in stone so I’ve got something to work to now.“

“When there’s no darts on and you’re trying to maintain your practice,

at the same time you’re not practising for anything” .

At least now it will settle us all, it’s settled me definitely.“ It has been very tough but at least now I can get my head down – I’ve got a fair few weeks to sort myself out and get myself ready.“

“Just going back to playing darts and playing the best players in the world again is enough for me, because then you’ve got something to prove to the world and prove to yourself again.“

“It’s motivation and at least we are going back, it might be under different circumstances but I think the biggest thing for me is that I’ll get back doing my job and do what I enjoy.“

“I’d like to have something in the background, I suppose, but at the same time I think the biggest thing is that:

I go back in there as defending champion and I want to win it again,” .“

Cross added: *So whatever the circumstances, I’m only going out to win. It will be a little bit alien at first”.

“If it is quiet I’ll get over it – I might have a nervous first leg but at the same time it’s something that you’ve got to get on with and be ready for either way.”


Cross Fears Matchplay Defence Will Seem Alien.

ROB CROSS reckons the World Matchplay could feel a bit “alien” if it goes ahead behind closed doors.The Hastings battler won his second major title with a comfortable win over Michael Smith at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool 11 months ago.

Cross will be back in the spotlight, with or without a crowd.

Now Voltage, 29, is ready to return to the big stage for the prestigious event and is only focused on his own form, not the venue or whether it’s held behind closed doors.He said: “There are certain issues that are beyond my control, I won’t let myself get distracted by stuff like that.

“I’m really happy that it’s going ahead, that’s the main thing.

Obviously I’d love it to be at the Winter Gardens with fans. But that’s not my decision.

“I’ll just crack on and turn up at the venue where I’m told to go and play the best I can.

“It’s been a long time and at least now we’ve got something set in stone so I’ve got something to work to now.



More from this story coming soon………

Pix: Taylor Lanning

World Matchplay Without A Crowd. Could Blackpool Be Silenced?


A few days ago, the PDC announced that the World Matchplay will take place on the planned dates. With or without a crowd. At the beginning of July, the PDC will make a decision on the venue presence of spectators.

BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL (PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

If no crowd is allowed, the prestigious tournament will be held behind closed doors. Hardly imaginable, but then Blackpool may be silent this year. The 27th edition of the World Matchplay will start on 18 July.

The second most important tournament, after the World Championships, in the PDC calendar is also known for the fantastic atmosphere in the Winter Gardens. The World Matchplay has been played in Blackpool since its inception in 1994, but this year it might be different.

There is still no end to the strict conditions resulting from the spread of the coronavirus. The PDC has
no choice but to decide on the admission of spectators in the short term. If the decision is to play the
World Matchplay behind closed doors, many fans will have to do without Blackpool this year.

It is unclear whether the tournament will be held in the same way as the Superleague in Germany or
whether it will be similar to a Pro Tour event or completely different. What is certain, however, is
that the PDC will try to make the World Matchplay as special and entertaining as possible.

We’ve already seen how much effort some of the PDC staff put into the Home Tour to offer the fans live
darts. So if it turns out that the trip to Blackpool is cancelled for many, we can still look forward to a unique World Matchplay.

One thing’s for sure, if next year’s World Matchplay comes returns to normal, there will be an even more raucous atmosphere in Winter Gardens after a two-year silence.


Our thanks to Elias Wilhelm (@ewh27) for this affectionate contribution. Many in darts feel similarly about the Winter Gardens, including the man whom the trophy is named after!

Record Prize Money On Offer In 2017

Quarantine Exemption For Darts? Hearn Pressing UK Government.

PDC Chairman Barry Hearn is hoping that darts players can follow Formula One stars and be exempt from quarantine. Last week the PDC announced that the World Matchplay would be taking its place on original dates July 18-26.

Official PDC Logo

But that could still be yet behind closed doors or at another venue rather than the iconic Winter Gardens. News is expected this week that the ProTour has resume in the coming weeks prior to the Matchplay. But one of the main obstacles is the UK Government mandatory 14-day quarantine for those entering the country.

But Hearn told RTL News in Holland:

“Of course I have daily contact with the British government and sports minister and I tell them my story. 

I ask them for an exception for professional athletes.” 

“Not only darters, but also snooker players and Formula One. Formula One has already received an exception, so they are on the right track.

Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn has lead from the front despite a recent heart scare. (pic:PDC)

“But what do we do when the athletes are indoors? We will develop the most advanced and safe method, as we have done with snooker.

“We created a bubble there. Everyone is tested before entering and if you are negative you can go in and not out. Everything has been cleaned 72 hours in advance, so the entire building is safe. We hope the government recognises that this measure does not require quarantine.”


Matchplay Under Way – Night One Review

BUNTING EDGES THRILLER AS BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY BEGINS IN BLACKPOOL

BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL PIC; LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND I STEVE BUNTING IN ACTION.

STEPHEN BUNTING snatched sudden-death glory against Gerwyn Price on the opening night of the Betfred World Matchplay as Gary Anderson began his title defence in Blackpool by seeing off Danny Noppert.

St Helens ace Bunting took victory in a thrilling first-round tie at the Winter Gardens as he edged Welshman Price 13-12 to claim his first win in the event for five years.

Grand Slam of Darts champion Price had enjoyed the advantage throughout much of an epic contest, taking early leads of 3-0 and 4-1 and maintaining a two-leg cushion at 8-6.

Bunting hit back to level with two successive legs, and the next six legs were shared as the game went into a tie-break and left the pair locked at 11-all.

Bunting then took out 85 on the bull to lead for the first time, only to miss four match darts in leg 24 as Price hit back to post double ten and send the game into a one-leg shoot-out.

Price opened the final leg with a 180, but missed one dart at the bull for victory before Bunting stepped in to finish 79 on double 11 to take a remarkable win.

“It’s probably one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had in the PDC,” admitted Bunting. “To win any game here is special, but against one of the best players in the world was extra special.

“He hit some good scores at the start of legs to make it difficult for me, and I was chasing the game for a long time – but I hung on in there.

“To come through a game like that against a fantastic player like Gerwyn is a boost to my confidence. I’ve got a nice break now until Wednesday so I’ll have a break on Sunday and then get back on the practice board.”

BETFRED WORLD MATCHPLAY 2019 WINTER GARDENS, BLACKPOOL PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND I GARY ANDERSON V DANNY NOPPERT GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Reigning champion Anderson opened his bid to retain the Phil Taylor Trophy with a 10-6 defeat of Dutch debutant Danny Noppert.

Anderson capitalised on a sluggish start from Noppert to win the opening four legs without reply, and also took out finishes of 135 on the bull and 111 to move 7-3 up.

Noppert pulled back to 7-6 at one stage, but Anderson won a crucial 14th leg and took out a huge 160 finish to lead 9-6 before closing out the win.

“I was a bit nervy up there but I got through it and it’s good to be in the next round,” said Anderson, who edged last year’s epic final 21-19 against Mensur Suljovic.

“I probably made it harder for myself than it could have been. I was great on the practice board but it wasn’t as good on stage and my finishing pulled me through at times there.

“I’m still getting back into it. People know I’ve not played much this year and there were some dodgy darts there, but also some good darts.”

Anderson will now meet Mervyn King in round two, after the 2009 semi-finalist overcame 13th seed Nathan Aspinall 10-5 in a see-saw opening fixture in Blackpool.

King stormed out of the blocks to win four of the opening five legs in a superb start to the contest, landing five 180s, a 104 finish, an 85 combination on the bull and a 12-darter along the way.

Recent US Darts Masters winner Aspinall then hit back with four straight legs, which included a 127 checkout, as he hauled himself back into the game and then moved 5-4 up.

King, though, levelled with a 14-darter and then produced a hammer blow with a 160 checkout to regain the lead at 6-5.

Missed doubles in the next three legs from UK Open champion Aspinall were punished by the Norfolk ace as King – a Blackpool semi-finalist in 2009 – opened up a 9-5 cushion before a superb 11-darter completed a fine win.

King averaged just over 100 and finished ten doubles from 16 attempts in a clinical display as he won past the first round for the first time since 2016.

“I’m very pleased with that,” said King. “I started well, fell asleep in the middle and woke up at the end.

“I think I shoot him a little bit at the start and he played some excellent darts in the second session. After that first break my first dart was dropping low, but I refocused myself at five-all.

“The 160 was a big moment to show that I wasn’t going away. My game is always there and it’s all about whether it comes out, but if Mervyn King turns up then I’ll win.”

2018 World Champion Rob Cross powered into the last 16 with a 10-3 defeat of Chris Dobey, who never recovered from a slow start on his Blackpool debut.

Cross moved 3-0 up and responded to a Dobey 14-darter with two of his own and a 12-dart leg as he moved into a 6-1 advantage.

Dobey finished 145 to hit back in leg eight, but Cross fired in six perfect darts as he restored his advantage before pulling away to seal victory with a 130 checkout.

“It’s nice to get over the winning line with no fuss,” said Cross. “I wasn’t great in the first five legs, and even though I was 4-1 up I was a bit edgy, but I settled down after that and took the initiative in the second session and started to play proper darts.

“If Chris had won the first leg, when he missed a couple of doubles, it could have been a different game. He’s a class act and he’s one for the future.

“I think it’s the first time in three years here that I’ve found my feet and pushed on like that.

“I probably get better as the game goes on, and overall I’m happy with how I’m playing – but I don’t feel like I’ve played my best darts yet. I love this event and I want to do well this week.”

The first round continues on Sunday with a double session at the Winter Gardens, which includes two-time champion Michael van Gerwen up against Steve Beaton and 2007 winner James Wade taking on 2018 semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis takes on three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant in an eagerly-awaited tie, while 2018 finalist Suljovic plays Jermaine Wattimena.

The afternoon session opens as Darren Webster takes on Polish debutant Krzysztof Ratajski, before Dave Chisnall meets Max Hopp, Ian White takes on Joe Cullen and Michael Smith clashes with debutant Jamie Hughes.

2019 Betfred World Matchplay

Saturday July 20

First Round

Mervyn King 10-5 Nathan Aspinall

Stephen Bunting 13-12 Gerwyn Price

Gary Anderson 10-6 Danny Noppert

Rob Cross 10-3 Chris Dobey

Sunday July 21 (1300 BST)

First Round

Darren Webster v Krzysztof Ratajski

Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp

Ian White v Joe Cullen

Michael Smith v Jamie Hughes

Evening Session (1930 BST)

First Round

James Wade v Jeffrey de Zwaan

Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena

Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton

Adrian Lewis v Glen Durrant

Format

Best of 19 legs

* Each game must be won by two clear legs, with up to a maximum of five additional legs being played before the sixth additional leg is sudden-death. For example, should a First Round game (best of 19 legs) reach 12-12, then the 25th leg would be the final and deciding leg.

ENDS